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Zarqawi's reported arrest denied
 
ZarqawiJAN 4: U.S. military and intelligence sources are denying print and broadcast reports that terrorist Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi has been arrested in Iraq, MSNBC reported Tuesday. MSNBC said senior U.S. military and intelligence sources told it the reports are not true.

A newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, al-Bayane, reported in its Tuesday edition that the Jordanian-born terrorist had been arrested in Baqouba, Iraq. Iraqi Kurdistan radio also reported the arrest of al-Zarqawi.

The U.S. military in December said al-Zarqawi likely is in the Baghdad area.

Earlier report:

DUBAI, January 4 (Itar-Tass) - Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, whom the US occupation authorities declared to be the "target number one" in Iraq, has been arrested in the city of Baakuba, the Emirate newspaper al-Bayane reported on Tuesday referring to Kurdish sources. Al-Zarqawi, leader of the terrorist group Al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad, was recently appointed the director of the Al-Qaeda organisation in Iraq.

The newspaper's correspondent in Baghdad points out that a report on the seizure of the terrorist, on whom the US put a bounty of 10 million dollars, was also reported by Iraqi Kurdistan radio, which at one time had been the first to announce the arrest of Saddam Hussein.

There have been no official reports about the arrest of the terrorist. Al-Zarqawi, 38, a Jordanian, whose real name is Ahmad al-Khalayleh, aims to turn Iraq into a "new Afghanistan". According to Arab press data, Al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad group has divided Iraq into several emirates. The group's independent subdivisions at a strength of 50 to 500 militants operate in the cities of Al-Falluja, Al-Qaim, Diala, and Samarra.

The personnel of the group is on the whole 1,500-strong and includes Iraqis and citizens of Arab and Islamic countries. There are demolition experts and missilemen among them.

The group has depots of weapons and explosives in various parts of the country. It intends to frustrate the upcoming parliamentary elections that are scheduled for the end of this month. Al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad threatens to do away with Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and members of the interim government.

(Drudge Report)
 
Saudi was mess tent bomber
 

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The suicide bomber who attacked a U.S. military mess hall in Iraq was a Saudi medical student, a Saudi newspaper reported Monday.

The newspaper, Asharq al-Awsat, said the bomber was 20 Said Ahmed al-Ghamdi, 20.

The bomber infiltrated a U.S. base near Mosul, detonating his explosives during the noon meal on Dec. 21. He killed 22 people.

The newspaper said friends of the student's father identified the bomber. The father confirmed to the newspaper that his son had gone to Iraq to fight the Americans and had died there.

Ansar al-Sunna, a Sunni Islamist group, has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

 

5,000 Americans unaccounted for
 

BANGKOK, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday some 5,000 Americans are still unaccounted for in the tsunami that killed more than 155,000 people in Asia.

"The number of private citizens or citizens unaccounted for still lingers around 4,000 to 5,000," Powell said while en route to Bangkok.

The figure was reached taking into account all phone calls from relatives of those missing. So far, 15 Americans have been confirmed dead. A Defense Department official is still missing.

Powell said U.S. officials -- both at embassies and in Washington -- were working full time on the issue of those unaccounted for, adding, "My own judgment is that this number will go down as people surface."

The secretary, who has been dispatched along with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, to Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka -- the countries most affected by the Dec. 26 tsunami that hit nations from Southeast Asia to East Africa -- also said it was likely there were many Americans who might be dead "and we just don't know about it yet."

 

 
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